Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Secrets: February 28, 2010

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an insightful sociological experiment.

This postcard hit the bullseye today.

I choose to live in balance, logic and wholeness each day.
I choose to live my life in artistry.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Saturday Secret ... from Flylady

I've mentioned my mentor, Flylady, many times on my blog. I read an essay from her today that touched my heart. She became a mentor to a half million women because she's been through hell and come out the other side. Now she teaches others what she learned along the way.

In this essay, she shared the secret of her darkest hours. It's worth sharing, because at the end, there is hope.
We have to do something to break this downward spiral. I am going to tell you a secret of mine. Several years ago, I was severely depressed. They admitted me to the hospital, because I was suicidal. Things just kept piling on. I needed help, but I didn't know it. A friend made me think I was helping her by going with her to her psychologist. She had made the appointment for me. I saw the therapist and then the next thing I knew I was in a 10 day treatment center. It happened that fast.

I looked awful; sweat pants, long stringy oily hair, over weight, no makeup, and a don't care attitude. I was in a room with a flight attendent and another lady that was beautiful. My first assignment was to clean up, it was their job to give me a make-over. WOW

I never dreamed that changing a few things on the outside could make me feel so good on the inside. Now I am crying as I remember the overwhelming difference this exercise has made in my life today. I would carry myself different; I had a confidence that came from some where. I didn't know where at the time. My walk had changed, along with attitude and spirit.

I know what it is to wander through days in depression. Because of Flylady's help, I was up, showered and dressed by 6:30 this morning. I'd cleaned the bathroom and mapped out my day before computer time.

Little steps, certainly.

But these little steps have led me to this fuller, happier life. It can happen for all. It's up to you to take that first step.

In the words of Padre Pio:
Be content to progress in slow steps
until you have legs to run
and wings with which to fly.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Kiva: A Little Goes a Long Way

Share the planet!
Go do some Kiva.
~ Bob Harris

Bob is one of my heroes. He's already made over 400 Kiva loans. When I grow up, I want to be like Bob!

So last night I made my 34th Kiva loan. This time I got to help Luafitu Tusagi in Samoa buy supplies for her sewing business. Luafitu buys fabric, prints it in bold designs, then creates traditional garments called lavalavas and puletesis.

You can view some of her creations on this Picasa photo site.

Won't you consider making a loan, too? I'm part of a Kiva lending team called Needles for Change. Our goal is for female needleworks in the developed world to help needleworkers, sewing professionals, embroiderers, tailors and fabric merchants in the developing world. When you decide to make a loan, I hope you'll consider joining this lending team . Leave a comment and I'll send you an official invitation.

Kiva. Loans that change lives.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gratitude: Grateful for Life

It's a little new-agey, but I appreciate the sentiment.



* * * * *


Weekly Gratitude
For 52 weeks, count your blessings and document them once each week

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Giveaway: Hardanger Booklet

I've been going through my craft/hobby/needlework library all afternoon. Time to bless others with some of my stash.

Edited 2/25/10:
This booklet found a new home. Thanks to all who showed interest.

I have an extra copy of Janice Love's classic book on Hardanger embroidery, Basics and Beyond.

It's in like-new condition and originally sells for around $15.00. I like it to find a new home with someone that can use this excellent reference tool.

It's free to the lucky recipient.
I'll pay shipping ... US only, please.

Leave a comment if you'd like it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Repose

I had some fun playing in my photo/paint program today.
First I turned it into gray scale. Fiddled with the contrast.
Colorized it. Added a hot wax coating.

I like the way the veins stick out ...
the toes look gnarly ...
the blemishes are pronounced ...
and the strips of light play across the leg.

[ click for the high res image ... it's worth it ]
Quite the artsy effect!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Macro Monday - Dew on Pine


Macro Monday is easy to play,
snap a macro (or close-up) photo,
post it on your blog
then go to Lisa's Chaos
and sign Mr Linky.


Dew on Pine


Another photo from my morning walk through the park.

Sunday Secrets: February 21, 2010

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an insightful sociological experiment.

These three secrets gave me a smile today.

This card was an "Easter Egg." The name of the image is "iknowaderek." I know a Derek, too. A daughter's friend acts like she knows everything, but continues to make immature choices. My daughter finally came to realize that her friend was full of hot air. It only took half a decade.


This was another "Easter Egg." The name of the image is "fakeittillyoumakeit." That was my exact thought when I read the card. When I'm in the midst of a crisis, I just try to soldier on. I don't feel courageous. I feel like I'm faking it. Years later, looking back, I can see how courageous I was.


The good thing about giving your the passion of your adolescence is that you can pick it up again when you get older and stop caring too much about what other people think. It's not too late to live your passion. It might, however, reveal itself in a metamorphosed form.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

And the Winner Is ...

cavmary!

Mary, I'm pretty sure I have your address.
I'll get the Artist Trading Card in the mail asap.

Congratulations!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Gratitude: My Husband

He called me from work yesterday. Asked if I'd like to join him for lunch. I popped into his office and waited as he finished up a task.

The light from the Venetian blinds cast interesting shadows on the wall and across his face. He allowed me to snap a few pictures with my phone's camera.

I'm incredibly grateful for this man. He works hard and provides well for his family. He's smart. He's funny. He's kind. He's forgiving. He's generous. He's a visionary.

He is, quite simply, the best man I know.

And I get to be his wife -- a label I'm proud and honored to bear.

Each day as Dale heads off to work, I ask if there's anything I can do for him here at home. Today's answer?

"Yes." [pause] "Have a Starburst Day."

Meaning, take the day to stitch and be creative and indulge my soul. When I've had a Starburst Day, Dale gets to return home and start the weekend with a very content partner.

So today, I'm grateful for my husband, my mate, my partner, my lover, my friend, my confidant, my nemeses. He keeps me safe and loved and challenged. Always challenged.

I am filled to overflowing.

* * * * *


Weekly Gratitude
For 52 weeks, count your blessings and document them once each week

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Newborn King Update

I've had some time to stitch this week and made some decent progress. To the left is where I left off last week. Below is the progress picture.

Since figuring out the charting problems and coming to terms with the color chart, stitching this piece has become fun again!





Don't forget! There's still time to put your name in the drawing for the Artist Trading Card Giveaway!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fly Swatter Game - Killing Flies while Killing Time

Grab the Fly Swatter and squash 10 flies as fast as possible & with as few swats as possible! Don't forget to hang the swatter up when you're done!

Fly Swatter Game - Killing Flies while Killing Time

Don't forget! There's still time to put your name in the drawing for the Artist Trading Card Giveaway!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rising through Mist

Our winter has been mild enough for me to resume my walks through the woods by the river.

Rising through Mist

Monday, February 15, 2010

Macro Monday & Giveaway: ATC


Macro Monday is easy to play,
snap a macro (or close-up) photo,
post it on your blog
then go to Lisa's Chaos
and sign Mr Linky.


Artist Trading Cards




I tried my hand at creating Artist Trading Cards.

Card stock, homemade paper, recycled ribbon,
lace, aida, silk ribbon embroidery, words of inspiration.

I made a series of 15 cards.
14 of them already have homes.

If you'd like to receive an ATC from me,
leave a comment with your e-mail address.
I'll pick one lucky winner on Friday, February 19.
I'll send you this ATC.
If you like,
you can send one back to me in exchange.


Artist Trading Cards (or ATCs) are miniature works of art about the same size as modern baseball cards (2.5 inches by 3.5 inches). Cards are produced in various media and are usually traded or exchanged rather than sold.

Artist trading cards can be seen as the modern incarnation of several much older artistic forms. Because of their small size, they have been linked to portrait miniatures, which flourished in the 14th century and to the cards traded between artists to study each other's techniques and explore new art movements.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday Secrets: February 14, 2010

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an insightful sociological experiment.

Happy Valentine's Day!





:: sigh ::

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hail to the Lady of the Evening

Last week, in downtown Post Falls,
I met a lady of the evening.

I thought I heard her call my name!

She caught my eye, and I had to take a second look.
She was dazzling.

Then I went up to touch her.
There was no holding back after that.
I had to have her!

Now she glimmers and shines,
enthroned with her sisters in my studio.

Ah, honey! Give me a full frontal shot!
Some of my other ladies of the evening
can be seen here and here.

Friday, February 12, 2010

S.O.S.

This quotation screamed at me this morning.
It wants to be heard.

Are you listening?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Newborn King Update

I've been able to put a little bit of time into my MAP, The Newborn King. If you recall, I've had a number of reservations about stitching this piece.

I finally figured out the 'counting error.' It turns out, it wasn't my error!

The vertical lines on page one and two do line up properly. But the horizontal lines do not line up correctly. For example, there may be seven graph squares (between the dark lines) at the top of page two. In that case, there ought to be three graph squares (plus the overlap row) at the bottom of page one. But that is not how the chart was printed. The chart is off by five rows!

Once I figured that out, I drew in dark horizontal lines on page one of my chart so that the grid on my fabric now matches the grid on the chart.

I also decided to laminate my original chart and mark it off with permanent marker as I go rather than using the working color copies I made a few years back. This seems to be helping me keep my place and not get the colors/symbols so mixed up.

So page two is now done and I've made a bit more progress on page one. I hope to put in several hours of stitching tomorrow, since I have a block of free time. Here's my progress so far:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Whacha Been Upta?

What I'm Watching:

August Rush

It's the first time I watched this lovely film.
Great music.
Good story.

Recommended!



What I'm Reading:

The Mermaid Chair

Character-driven novel about a woman coming to terms with mid life, love, lost childhood, and family ties.

Not quite as good as Kidd's previous book, The Secret Life of Bees, but I did enjoy the read.


A favorite line?
"I finally figured out that what matters is just giving over to what you love."

What I'm Crafting:

I'll show the results on Monday!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Gratitude: Lessons on Life

I'm grateful for the chance to improve my life!



* * * * *


Weekly Gratitude
For 52 weeks, count your blessings and document them once each week

Monday, February 8, 2010

Macro Monday - Cracked


Macro Monday is easy to play,
snap a macro (or close-up) photo,
post it on your blog
then go to Lisa's Chaos
and sign Mr Linky.


Cracked


I found this robin's egg last spring. I've been gingerly moving it from place to place in my studio. I finally got around to taking a photo this week.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday Secrets: February 7, 2010

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an insightful sociological experiment.

There were lots of interesting secrets today. These are my four favorites:


I can't say I hate it, I simply have no use for it.


Ahhh! There's got to be a wonderful sweet story behind this.


I had two days like this, both in "the alley" behind my childhood home. I'll always love the wonderful feeling of lying in the tall, tall grasses alone, listening to the bugs, feeling the sun on my face, knowing I couldn't be found. Then there was the day I met "the little girl behind the fence." Magical.


This reminds me of my eldest. My desire is that her hope never eludes her.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Gift for Yourself

I visited a friend a while back who'd gone out of the way to put daily duties aside and make time for me. When we talked about our visit at a later date, my buddy kept telling me that what I saw was not the reality. That I got the best my friend had to offer.

That puzzled me for days. Why, I wondered, would my friend give the best to me?

Why not give the best you have to offer to yourself? Your family? Those you do business with daily?

I see the same in my daughters. They each have their own room (or apartment), and their own bathroom. They have complete say about what they want their space to look like, except, perhaps, the wall color. They each choose to be messy -- clothes on the floor, waste basket overflowing, books and papers all over the place, hair products that show up in the oddest locations.

It's not the example they were given. That is not how I choose to keep my space, my bedroom or the rest of the house -- with the exception, perhaps, of my studio that has craft and needlework projects all over the place. But even there, the tabletops and desktops have clear spaces so I can work.

So why choose to give yourself less than your best? No one is stopping you. Your time is your own to use as you see fit. You deserve to live a peaceful life ... at least within your own skin and your own abode. You simply need to decide to give yourself that gift, the gift of your best self.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Gratitude: Ingenuity

I get a great deal of pleasure out of making something from nothing.

Must be my god complex. :: wink ::

This morning, I went shopping for a magnet that depicts my home state. A fellow stitcher was kind enough to share a cross-stitch pattern with me. In return, she requested a magnet of Idaho to add to her collection.

I searched the store that I thought would have souvenir magnets. Those in stock were simply not worthy. I came home and looked through my family's collection of refrigerator magnets, but those from Idaho were in poor taste.


So I came up with an idea for creating a magnet by using one of my own photographs, doctoring it in my paint program, printing it on photo paper, and affixing it to one of the freebie magnets from our family collection.



A one-of-a-kind piece of miniature art!


I'm grateful for the ingenuity to take what I have and make the best of it.

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Weekly Gratitude
For 52 weeks, count your blessings and document them once each week